November Blog: Travelling with Slappa’s
Travelling with Slappa’s
We often receive emails with wonderful feedback from our customers who have been travelling all over the world saying how they were so glad they purchased Slappa’s Thongs before leaving on their trip.
Recently our founder and owner Denise Dunn trekked the Inca Trail and explored the wonders of Machu Picchu in Peru, so we sat down with her to find out how Slappa’s had helped her on this trip of a lifetime and what advice she has for those about to travel…
Q. How long before you left did you start breaking in your Slappa’s ready for the trip?
Denise: My best advice for those buying new Slappa’s Thongs before a trip or holiday is to allow 2 weeks to properly mould into them; especially if you are flying to a hot climate as your feet may possibly swell. Giving your Slappa’s a bit of extra time to mould and stretch will allow them to not feel too tight or give you a blister.
If you plan on doing a lot of walking we all know new footwear can rub so better to break them in for a few weeks especially since your feet are softer having just come out of winter.
On my Peru trip I actually took my old Red Slappa’s which are my favourites and also a new pair of black which I had only worn for a couple of days before I left. My new black are from our new production you will find they will mould to your foot shape almost instantly. We did a lot of testing with the EVA material and have now been able to produce Slappa’s so they will mould quicker.
Q. How many pairs did you take with you?
Denise: I actually had 3 pairs!!! My favourite Red which I find goes with most colours, the new black for our newest production and a new pink colour which we will be launching next month. It was easy to pack three pairs as they are super light and fit easily in any bag. I tend to take a few colours when I go away as it is a great opportunity for me to take some photos in some wonderful holiday spots in my Slappa’s. Yes occasionally I come home with less than I took as there is always someone wanting a pair haha!
I could only take one pair on the actual Inca Trail as we had limited luggage; as you can see later in the photos I chose to take the new pink. We haven’t named this shade/colour yet – perhaps you have a suggestion? Email us at email@example.com if you do!
Q. How did Slappa’s help you while you were travelling?
Denise: Travelling in Peru and on the Inca Trail we needed to wear our hiking boots all day and as much as my Scarpa Hiking Boots that I bought from MacPac were super comfy it was always great to let the feet breathe and relax in my Slappa’s. My friends would say the same and in actual fact one of my friends said stuff it I just need to put my Slappa’s on as she just loves the comfort and support she gets all the way to the back.
The new friends we made on the trip were wishing I had a few more pairs for them to wear. They said they would definitely get on the website and order so we should see some orders from London, Belguim and Sydney coming through!
Q. How often did you clean your Slappa’s while away?
Denise: It’s easy to keep your Slappa’s clean while you are away – just wear them in the shower! The other great reason to do this is to protect your feet from contracting any fungal skin infections, especially if using in communal showers.
Keeping Slappa’s clean also reduces the chances of sweating, if you find your feet are sweating in your Slappa’s it’s usually due to a built up of dirt either on your thongs or on your feet (so might be time for a pedicure!)
Q. Tell us about running Slappa’s as a family business and the importance of taking vacations like this one?
Denise: Anyone that owns a small or family business knows how difficult it is to maintain a work/life balance. Especially when you first start out as you really need be hands on in the business so you understand everything that happens; you can see where changes need to be made, learn from your successes and mistakes, and it definitely helps keep expenses down so the business can survive those first crucial years.
As we pack all our online and wholesaler orders ourselves it is really hard for us to be able to coordinate a family holiday together. In the early days if we needed to go away for a few days we would fly up my sister or a friend to keep the orders happening and I would still monitor emails, social media and answer phone calls.
As the business grew we were then able to support employing a part time person to pack the orders which then allowed us to have a quick break away but I still had to do the office work.
Quite often one of us would go away with the kids and the other one stayed home to manage the business. But this was not ideal.
Eight years on and the business turned into a company and we experienced huge growth extremely quickly so we had no choice; we had to employ. This was the best thing we ever did. Though looking back I still think we made the right decision to watch and wait until the time was right and felt comfortable to us.
Now we have amazing staff who are very capable at keeping the business running and in April this year we had our first holiday as a family in 5 years where we didn’t have to work whilst on holidays.
Last year I was asked by my lovely friend if I would like to join her on a once in a lifetime adventure walking the Inca Trail in Peru. This trip broke all my rules of going away in a busy part of the year but to be able to do it I had 12 months to put everything in place and with the help of our great staff and the support of my family I was able to achieve this amazing experience.
As much as I would have loved to have my family with me it was a very healthy decision to go independently, as when your work is based at your home and with your family – in a nice way – we need to have time away from each other, learn to not become dependant on each other and take on responsibilities that you are not used to doing.
The trip has also taught me that the business can still run without me and I quickly learnt it was best not to reply to emails as it sometimes created more work for the staff back at the business. I trusted my staff so just let them look after things.
All in all I had an amazing trip and returned refreshed and renewed just in time for the arrival of our first shipment of new Slappa’s!! Order our new Mindil Beach Blue, Navy and Black Army online today.
The Slappa’s Team